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Microhospitals are spreading fast

Not quite this small.

Hospitals & Health Networks has done  an  update on the rapidly increasing number of microhospitals, facilities that bridge the gap between ambulatory and tertiary care.

H&HN reports, for example, that “PhiloWilke Partnership, Houston, has designed approximately 25 microhospital facilities in the last eight years, with 20 more on the books, according to Kevin TenBrook, partner at the firm.”

“It’s definitely expanding at the moment,” he said.

H&HN notes that “they can be distributed throughout a region to support a network of care; they also can be designed to be scalable, to grow along with a burgeoning community.”

David Argueta,  an executive with CHI-St. Luke’s in Texas, told the news service that microhospitals are, in H&HN’s paraphrase, “an innovative solution for delivering hospital care where it’s needed, to meet a healthcare organization’s strategic goals and its mission as a care provider. In short, efficient, well-placed microhospitals can achieve the healthcare trifecta of ‘best value, high quality, lower cost,’ he says.”

Kevin Harney, AIA, NCARB, principal at architecture firm ESa,  in Nashville,  told H&HN that microhospitals are mostly 15,000 to 25,000 square feet, although they can be up  60,000 square feet.  “They typically include eight to 10 inpatient beds, eight to 10 emergency department (ED) treatment bays, a small imaging and diagnostic suite and support functions like dietary services, environmental services and materials management,” the news service said.

Rod Booze,  partner in the Texas office of healthcare architecture firm E4H, told H&HN that the facilities perform, in H&HN’s words, “essentially the same functions as standard-sized hospitals, but are scaled to respond to the needs of lower-acuity patients.

To read more, please hit this link.

Survey of healthcare billers finds Medicare remarkably popular


The market-research firm Peer60 surveyed nearly 800 ambulatory-care leaders (36.8 percent of whom were physicians;  participants also included practice administrators and financial and nurse leaders) on which insurer they liked the  most.  Peer60 found that Medicare was surprisingly popular.

To the surprise of everyone, Medicare—allegedly “slow, inefficient, broken and inflexible,” ranked number two (with 16 percent of the vote), behind Blue Cross Blue Shield, which ranked first, at 22 percent, and way ahead of (UHC), which ranked a distant third, at 9 percent.

The study said that survey respondents  cited Medicare’s  fast reimbursement, efficient precertification, low staff time required to file claims, ease of negotiating with, low amount paperwork required,  fewest denied claims and the best customer service.

To read an article on this, please hit this link.


Healthcare-sector hiring keeps rising


Healthcare sector hiring continued to rise in January, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with 38,300 new jobs added in ambulatory care, hospitals and nursing.

The numbers are seen as indicators of future healthcare demand and spending.
M0dern Healthcare, deconstructing the numbers, reported that:

”Ambulatory care employment, including physician offices, added 21,700 jobs in January, an increase of 0.3%.”

”Physician-office hiring boomed in January, adding 13,400 jobs during the month, compared with 3,300 jobs in December, bringing the number of employees in that setting to 2.5 million. For the year that ended in January, physician offices increased their payrolls by 71,800 workers, or an increase of 2.9%. ”

The physician-office hiring intrigued us at Cambridge Management Group because it came even as more and more physicians are being hired to be health-system employees.
Modern Healthcare also reported:
”Hospitals added 9,600 jobs in January after strong hiring in November and December. The 0.2% increase for the month (and 1.2% growth for the year that ended in January) boosted hospital employment to 4.8 million.

”Nursing home and residential care added 7,000 jobs last month, an increase of 0.2%, to bring total employment in the sector to 3.3 million. In the year that ended in January, nursing homes and residential care added 44,300 jobs, an increase of 1.4%.”

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